Don’t Overlook The Most Important Tech Support Metrics
Outsourcing tech support can cut costs, increase efficiency, improve productivity, and deliver better customer experiences.
But you can’t realize these benefits if you can’t manage the tech support firm.
And you can’t do that if you’re using the wrong metrics to assess performance.
Using the wrong metrics spells disaster. It can send the wrong signals to the firm’s agents and erode agent morale. Bad morale can infect customer experiences.
But with so many metrics to choose from, how do you know which are the right ones to use?
Two Factors Are Key
Two factors are key when picking metrics: (1) your value proposition and (2) what you need most to achieve outsourcing success.
Understanding your value proposition is critical. How do you compete? Is it based on cost? Efficiency? Service? What’s your firm’s competitive advantage?
Understanding what you need to achieve outsourcing success is also critical: Is it rapid response? Knowledgeable agents? First call resolution?
Whatever these two factors are, make sure you capture them accurately in the metrics you use to assess tech support performance.
Customer Experience Trumps All
Ultimately, customer experience trumps everything. It’s the key to surviving and thriving in this age of continuous improvement.
Below are several core metrics that can highlight the quality of customer experience tech support delivers.
This metric measures the percentage of callers happy with the overall customer service experience. Conduct a post-call survey to measure this. Or, follow-up with an email survey. This metric is at the heart of customer service.
First Call Resolution (FCR)
This metric is also at the heart of customer service. Several factors can cause repeat calls—many of them beyond an agent’s control. Two common ways to measure FCR are call monitoring and reviewing calling party numbers.
Use this metric to assess the impact agents have on customer service calls and the overall caller experience. Scores are usually calculated based on 5 to 10 calls per agent per month. Consider the agents’ communications skills and etiquette, and their adherence to procedures (call scripts, workflow processes, etc.).
Like FCR, this metric is sometimes affected by factors beyond an agent’s control. With multiple ways to calibrate abandon rate, you may want to explore the issue with your tech support firm when creating service level agreements.
This metric measures how long it takes to resolve an issue—from open time to when the customer confirms resolution.
Speed To Answer
Typically defined as X percent of calls within Y seconds, this metric is usually set in SLAs. It measures how accessible tech support is to customers. A good tech firm balances staff and workload to meet the designated percentage.
Two other metrics you may want to use include:
This is more of an internal measure. It reflects the ultimate resolution time of a call. It’s critical to measuring the amount of work in process within the organization.
And depending on the product supported:
Percent defects related calls vs. “how to” calls
This metric measures the amount of support determined by defects in the product itself as opposed to the customer’s need for help on usage issues—a good number to know when assessing call center performance.
Using the wrong metrics can erode morale and stop an outsourcing project dead in its tracks. For productive assessments, choose a combination of metrics that capture three things: how you compete, the factors determining outsourcing success, and the quality of customer experiences delivered.
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